Chicago White Sox: Dayan Viciedo

Rapid Reaction: Twins 6, White Sox 4

September, 14, 2014
Sep 14
3:54
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox failed to finish off the series sweep when they were defeated 6-4 on Sunday by the Minnesota Twins.

How it happened: White Sox starter Hector Noesi gave up two second-inning runs and the Twins were off and running. Noesi finished by allowing five runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. Jose Abreu and Conor Gillaspie had RBI singles for the White Sox, while Adrian Nieto hit his second home run. Abreu then hit a solo home run in the ninth inning, his 35th, giving him a home run in back-to-back games after not hitting one before that since Aug. 22. The 35 home runs tied Ron Kittle's White Sox rookie record set in 1983.

What it means: Despite the defeat, it was a successful homestand as the White Sox won five of the seven games, including three of four against the playoff-contending Oakland Athletics. Now come more contenders as the White Sox first travel to Kansas City for a three-game series that starts Monday. The Royals and Detroit Tigers are battling down the stretch for the American League Central title and the White Sox could have a say in how the division finishes with three games against Detroit before the season ends and seven against Kansas City.

Outside the box: The defeat officially ended the White Sox’s chances of winning the AL Central and also of earning the first wild card spot. They have an elimination number of one when it comes to the second wild card spot.

Off beat: it’s easy to bash Dayan Viciedo's defense and many have this season. To his credit, he made a nice sliding catch on the left-field foul line in the seventh inning. Viciedo’s start in left field came a day after he started at first base in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. The White Sox could be interested in tapping into any defensive versatility he could offer next season, especially if they go a different route in left field, but still want to keep his bat in the lineup as much as possible. Abreu still figures to get the most time at first base.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (9-11, 5.05 ERA) to the mound Monday at Kansas City in the opener of a three-game series. The Royals will counter with right-hander James Shields (14-7, 3.13) in the 7:10 p.m. CST start from Kauffman Stadium.

Just call Saturday's doubleheader 'K Day'

September, 14, 2014
Sep 14
1:29
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The damage from Saturday’s doubleheader is still being sorted out, with some history-making strikeout numbers being the big takeaway from the day.

The final image from a long day-turned-night was of Dayan Viciedo's game-ending home run that completed a Chicago White Sox sweep over the Minnesota Twins, but there is no way to overlook the strikeout totals.

The combined 45 strikeouts in the two games tied a major league record for a doubleheader when both games lasted nine innings. The Colorado Rockies and then Florida Marlins did the same in 2009. In 2010, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees combined for a record 49 strikeouts in a doubleheader, but both of those games went 10 innings.

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Savvy Abreu leads, Sox learn to follow

September, 13, 2014
Sep 13
11:09
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Jose AbreuAP Photo/Matt Marton"In the end you know he's the guy you want to put your buck on," Robin Ventura said of Jose Abreu.

CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu is not waiting to apply what he has learned about preserving himself for a long 162-game season.

Seemingly drained of power late in his first year in the major leagues, Abreu used a long work day Saturday to flash the kind of overall game that the Chicago White Sox hope will define his career.

After 18 games without a home run (69 at-bats), Abreu not only hit one in a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins in Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader, but he launched it to the right side of center field. It was his 34th home run of the year and gave him 100 RBIs, making him the fourth White Sox rookie ever to hit that milestone.

That the blast came in the second game of a doubleheader that ended with a White Sox sweep seemed to go a long way toward dispelling the exhaustion notion.

But this wasn’t just about Abreu showing that he does have a little left in the tank. The home run might have actually been his second-best at-bat of the game to his ninth-inning, 14-pitch walk that was key to the comeback victory, which was capped when Dayan Viciedo hit a game-ending two-run home run two batters later.

Abreu also had a single in the second game after delivering two doubles in the first.

“For him, just the bat speed, everything else, it's there,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who has been peppered with questions this month about what appeared to be a tired Abreu. “Everybody's going through little issues of fatigue. It's a long season, but in the end you know he's the guy you want to put your buck on just because he's the guy. He continues to have great at-bats, learning how to do it, but he's also shown guys how to do it, which is great. He's a leader, that's what he is.”

Abreu’s English still is limited (he intends to work on it during the offseason), but his ninth-inning walk spoke volumes without needing any words. At one point during the plate appearance he fouled off eight consecutive pitches against Twins closer Glen Perkins before earning the walk.

The Twins had just gone up by a run in the top of the ninth, and Abreu’s never-say-die walk made him the potential tying run. Two batters later, Viciedo cracked his winner on a full count over the wall in left field to cap the sweep.

“First of all, I’m just thankful that we are able to do what we’re doing and be able to win the game,” Abreu said. “That at-bat it was a difficult at-bat, but I went into the at-bat thinking to myself that I would do whatever I could to get on base and help tie the game. I just tried to work as much as I could to get the right pitch.”

A willingness to keep the line moving is what sets Abreu apart in muscle-flexing world of power hitting. Abreu’s ego didn’t tell him he needed to be the hero and tie the game with one swing; rather, his baseball acumen told him that baserunners lead to runs scored and potential game-winning rallies.

“I think it was a great at-bat,” said Viciedo, who was waiting to come to the on-deck circle when Abreu was at the plate. “The way he just settled in and just waited for his pitches and he fought, that was the fundamental thing to get on base and do whatever we can to tie the game or win the game. That was a great at-bat, going pitch for pitch and settling in.”

Viciedo’s reaction to his teammate's walk is evidence of Ventura’s proclamation that what Abreu was displaying Saturday was leadership above all else.

“Just the at-bat Jose had in the last inning, I think that's indicative of who he is and what he brings to the table,” Ventura said. “It was a great at-bat leading off an inning against a great closer that he just keeps wearing him out to where he gets a walk. Those are the kinds of things you need to do to win games. He's that type of player and it sets the tone for that inning.”

And to think, Abreu had waited nearly two weeks for his milestone 100th RBI, and when it came it was actually overshadowed by a base on balls.

The only other White Sox rookies to record at least 100 RBIs were Smead Jolley (114 in 1930), Zeke Bonura (110 in 1934) and Ron Kittle (100 in 1983). Abreu also became the fourth rookie in major league history to record at least 30 doubles, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, joining Hal Trosky (1934), Ted Williams (1939) and Albert Pujols (2001).

“The thing I’m most thankful for is this organization for the opportunity to play this game at this level,” the 27-year-old Abreu said. “I’m happy about 100 RBIs, I’m happy about 34 home runs. I’m just happy how I’ve been able to do this this season. I’m happy my family is here with me. I’m happy for my success.”

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 7, Twins 6

September, 13, 2014
Sep 13
9:59
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Saturday evening to finish off a doubleheader sweep.

How it happened: Dayan Viciedo hit a two-run, game-ending home run, the fifth game-ending homer for the White Sox this season. The White Sox stormed all the way back from a 4-0 first-inning deficit. Avisail Garcia hit a three-run home run in the first inning, his fifth. Jose Abreu tied it in the fifth on his 34th home run. Both teams traded runs before Kurt Suzuki put the Twins ahead on an RBI double off Jake Petricka in the ninth inning. Both teams combined to strike out 45 times in the two games. White Sox pitchers had 29 strikeouts on the day.

What it means: Abreu’s home run and RBI droughts ended when the slugger went deep for the first time since Aug. 22 and knocked in his first run since Aug. 31. He went 18 games between home runs and nine between RBIs. It was the second 18-game homer drought for Abreu in the second half, which has fueled the talk that he is running on fumes physically during his first 162-game season. Saturday’s home run was counter to that thought, though, as he took the ball out to the right side of center field.

Outside the box: White Sox starter Scott Carroll left Saturday’s game after five innings because of a cracked fingernail on his pitching hand. It is unknown how long the issue could keep Carroll out of action, but the White Sox have been operating with six starters of late. If Carroll has to miss one or more outings, it could give rookie Chris Bassitt an extra starting opportunity down the stretch.

Off beat: It took three chances, but the White Sox have finally figured out this doubleheader concept. The White Sox were swept in a July 1 home doubleheader against the Los Angeles Angels, falling 8-4 in the first game and 7-5 in the second. On Aug. 30, they split a home twin bill with the Detroit Tigers, winning the first game 6-3, while losing the second game 8-4. Then came Saturday’s sweep, in which they won the first game 5-1 before taking the second 7-6.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Hector Noesi (8-9, 4.69 ERA) to the mound Sunday in the finale of the three-game series. The Twins will counter with right-hander Trevor May (2-4, 8.38) in the 1:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Series preview: Twins at White Sox

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
12:19
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The victory total has not gone the way the Chicago White Sox would have hoped, but plenty of individual accomplishments are still on the table over the final two-plus weeks of the season.

The White Sox have three players who could be headed for postseason honors, including Jose Abreu, who seems to be a lock for the American League Rookie of the Year award.

Abreu will head into the upcoming series against the Minnesota Twins one RBI short of 100, a spot he has been stuck on since Aug. 31. He has hit just two home runs since Aug. 1, but his 33 total home runs are third best in the American League, while he leads the AL in slugging percentage at .588.

Chris Sale won't pitch in the upcoming series, but he is a strong contender for the AL Cy Young Award with the Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez. Sale lowered his ERA to an AL-leading 1.99 after pitching eight scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

The White Sox's final postseason award hopeful is Alexei Ramirez, who could be looking at a Silver Slugger Award at shortstop, while also hoping to get votes toward his first Gold Glove Award.

Ramirez leads all AL shortstops in home runs with 14, RBIs with 65 and slugging percentage at .410. He is also tied for first in fielding percentage among AL shortstops with a .983 mark.

HEAD TO HEAD


The current White Sox roster has 86 combined at-bats against Twins starter Phil Hughes, and Moises Sierra is the only one with a home run against the right-hander. ... White Sox hitters Tyler Flowers, Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo are a combined 3-for-31 (.097) against Twins left-hander Tommy Milone. ... After starting his career 0-4 in five starts, Twins starter Trevor May gave up three runs on six hits over five innings on Sept. 3 against the White Sox to pick up his first career victory. ... While the Twins' Joe Mauer is 8-for-18 (.444) against White Sox starter Jose Quintana, Oswaldo Arcia and Brian Dozier are a combined 7-for-32 (.219) against the left-hander. ... White Sox right-hander Scott Carroll has a 2.70 ERA against the Twins in 16 2/3 innings. ... Mauer is just 3-for-13 (.231) in his career against White Sox starter Hector Noesi.

NOTES


White Sox pitchers have a 1.99 ERA (10 earned runs, 45 1/3 innings) over the last seven games and have delivered a quality start in all seven of those games. ... Reliever Jake Petricka has converted five consecutive save opportunities and has a 1.56 ERA over his last 18 home games. ... Now back in the major leagues, Marcus Semien looks as if he has picked up his clutch abilities again as his sixth-inning home run Thursday gives him all four of his home runs this season in the sixth inning or later. Not only that, all six of the home runs have given the White Sox the lead. ... Abreu has hit safely in four of his last five games, but only has one hit in those games where he has hit safely, going 4-for-19 (.211) over that stretch. ... The White Sox are 25-22 in one-run games this season. ... The Twins have not won a series going back to August 14, going 0-6-2 in that stretch. ... The Twins scored just two runs Thursday while getting swept by the Cleveland Indians in a doubleheader.

PITCHING MATCHUPS


Friday: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (7-10, 3.38 ERA) vs. Twins RH Phil Hughes (5-9, 3.55), 7:10 p.m. CST
Saturday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (5-10, 4.92) vs. Twins LH Tommy Milone (6-4, 4.31), 6:10 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (8-8, 4.28) vs Twins RH Trevor May (2-4, 8.38), 1:10 p.m. CST

Rapid Reaction: A's 11, White Sox 2

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
10:30
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO – A sloppy effort Tuesday left the Chicago White Sox with an 11-2 defeat by the Oakland Athletics.

How it happened: It was a rough night defensively, as the White Sox made four errors in the first five innings and five total in the game. Marcus Semien made three errors, Avisail Garcia made one and pitcher John Danks made the other. On the mound, Danks gave up four runs (two earned) on seven hits over six innings. A’s starter Jon Lester gave up two runs on seven hits over eight innings. Dayan Viciedo hit a home run -- his 20th of the season -- for the White Sox. Oakland's Josh Donaldson set a career high with five hits and added four RBIs.

What it means: When you aren’t in contention, September is for letting the kids work out the kinks, which is what Semien did Tuesday. He made all three of his errors at third base. His first was a throwing error in a two-run fourth inning for the A’s, then he made a fielding error in Oakland’s two-run fifth inning and another fielding error in the ninth. Defense has been an issue all season, as the White Sox entered the game with the sixth-most errors in the American League, at 92.

Outside the box: Make that six consecutive games without an RBI for Jose Abreu, who remains stuck at 99 for the season. Abreu has had only two other RBI droughts longer than this current run. He went eight consecutive games without an RBI in early August and also went eight games without one in April. He is trying to become the fourth White Sox rookie to collect 100 RBIs in a season and join Smead Jolley (114 in 1930), Zeke Bonura (110 in 1934) and Ron Kittle (100 in 1983).

Off-beat: Manager Robin Ventura figured to give Josh Phegley or Adrian Nieto a day to play catcher Tuesday, but Tyler Flowers was back behind the plate. Why the change of heart? “You're going to see those guys, but right now, [Flowers] hits two homers the night before, he probably deserves to be back," Ventura said. "I want him to keep this little roll going because you are still trying to win games.” Flowers hit the game-tying home run in the ninth inning Monday and the game-winning homer in the 12th. Flowers ended Tuesday 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Chris Bassitt (0-1, 7.36 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the third game of the four-game series. The A’s will counter with right-hander Jeff Samardzija (4-5, 3.70) in the 7:10 p.m. start at U.S. Cellular Field.

White Sox get started on latest changes

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
10:41
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Chris BassittAP Photo/Matt MartonChris Bassitt gave up five runs on seven hits in his first major league start.

CHICAGO – A sluggish August for the Chicago White Sox has been a reminder that more roster tweaks are needed, even with activity already underway.

Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of a day/night doubleheader was mostly significant for the White Sox because of who wasn’t available. Alejandro De Aza was held out of the starting lineup with a trade in the works and before the fifth inning was complete, he was a member of the Baltimore Orioles.

The De Aza deal, combined with one that sent Gordon Beckham to the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 21, was not unlike rearranging the living room to create space for a potential new piece of furniture.

The second-base spot is first being handed to Carlos Sanchez, and perhaps Marcus Semien as well, over the final month. Micah Johnson will then have a say in second-base matters next spring.

As far as left field, it remains to be seen who the White Sox plant there first, but Jordan Danks and Jared Mitchell could see time as potential September call-ups. Perhaps Semien plays in left, too. The White Sox can then decide if they like what they see in one of those options, elect to stay with Dayan Viciedo or go another route.

“There's opportunity there,” Hahn said about the left-field job. “There's opportunity for someone to step up and seize that job, and if not, it's something we'll be looking to explore filling in the offseason.”

By moving Beckham and De Aza before the season was complete, the White Sox also save short of $1 million on each, but combined that isn’t an insignificant amount of money. It makes even more financial sense when considering both were probably going to be cut loose as arbitration-eligible players who might not have been tendered contracts.

Both Beckham and De Aza were headed toward raises over the $4 million-plus each was making. Going off what those salaries are this season, the White Sox have another $8.4 million to work with. Then consider Adam Dunn's $15 million, Matt Lindstrom's $4 million and Paul Konerko's $2.5 million all come off the books for 2015. Ronald Belisario ($3 million) could be a non-tender candidate.

Money to spend is for the offseason, though. This next week is about young players getting their chance to audition for a roster that will have even more reinforcements soon.

“You are going to have some guys up here for those are positions that now have opportunities,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You are going to see some guys in there that are different than what we’ve had for the last couple of years. They are going to get a chance.”

Another player whose audition began Saturday night was right-hander Chris Bassitt, who gave up five runs on seven hits with four walks in 6⅓ innings. Bassitt will remain with the team through the rest of the season and could even get some starts over the final month.

“For a first time up here, I’m sure he’s real nervous, but besides the couple of innings there, he settled down and really kind of gathered it back together,” Ventura said. “It was nice to see -- he had a real live arm. For his first time, it’s intriguing. It’s one of those where you like what you see. He’s pretty young, so he’ll be up here in September, and we’ll see what we do.”

Bassitt not only got his first chance to pitch in the major leagues, but he also saw a major league teammate get traded for the first time, and it wasn’t lost on him that changes are happening, with multiple opportunities available.

“Yeah, I mean definitely,” Bassitt said. “You look at it as pretty much 'go out there and prove your worth from here on out' and just pretty much just try to go out there and compete as much as you can, just to show them that, ‘Hey, I can compete at this level.’ Not only that but, you deserve to be here. You have a little space for them to go and say: ‘Hey, this guy can make us win in the future.’”

Playoff rosters for contenders aren’t due to the league office until Sunday, so the White Sox still have time to make deals. Dunn could even get moved to a contender that needs some left-handed power.

“The deadline's 11 [p.m. CT Sunday], so we're going to have to keep working and exploring some opportunities,” Hahn said.

Another season of change has arrived in earnest.

Rapid Reaction: Tigers 8, White Sox 4

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
9:34
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox fell 8-4 to the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of a day/night doubleheader as the teams were left with a split of the twin bill.

How it happened: In a battle of first-time major league starters, the Tigers’ Kyle Ryan got the better of the White Sox’s Chris Bassitt. Ryan didn’t give up a run on five hits over six innings, while Bassitt gave up five runs on seven hits over 6⅓ innings. Dayan Viciedo's three-run home run in the eighth inning closed the gap, but not enough for the White Sox. Jose Abreu managed to extend his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning single.

What it means: Bassitt stayed with the team after the game as Eric Surkamp was sent down. The right-hander wasn’t hit hard by any means, but his four walks did not help matters. Of the Tigers’ seven hits against Bassitt, only one went for extra bases. The White Sox will now decide if he gets more chances to start in September or if he works out of the bullpen.

Outside the box: The White Sox have won just once in three tries so far this weekend against the Tigers, but Abreu is doing his part. Despite a sore left leg, with discomfort below his hip, the rookie has managed to reach base in 10 of his 12 at-bats against Detroit in three games.

Off beat: Alejandro De Aza started the first game of the doubleheader in left field, but before the second game was completed he was a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He was dealt for minor league right-handed pitchers Mark Blackmar and Miguel Chalas. De Aza was not in the lineup for Game 2 and was notified of the trade in the fifth inning by general manager Rick Hahn.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Jose Quintana (6-10, 3.48 ERA) to the mound Sunday in the series finale. The Tigers will counter with right-hander Rick Porcello (15-8, 3.06) in the 1:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Defensive shortcomings to be addressed

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
11:11
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Team defense will be addressed in the offseason, which means the Chicago White Sox could be looking for a new left fielder come 2015.

[+] EnlargeAlejandro De Aza, Adam Eaton
David Banks/Getty ImagesLeft fielder Alejandro De Aza made this catch against the Indians despite colliding with Adam Eaton, but overall has been a defensive liability all season.
Just one batter into Thursday’s eventual 3-2 defeat to the Cleveland Indians, Alejandro De Aza misplayed a ball along the left-field stands into a triple. It led to a quick 1-0 Indians lead and the White Sox were left to play catch-up much of the night.

That it was a low-scoring affair Thursday only highlighted the impact one misplay can have.

De Aza and Dayan Viciedo have been defensive liabilities all season and whether either returns next season remains to be seen. The White Sox are set to go with Adam Eaton in center field and Avisail Garcia in right field next year.

Defense isn’t the only area where they White Sox need to make fundamental improvements, but it is an area that continues to hurt them often.

“Being fundamentally sound in every aspect of the game is a priority for us,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “We have made some improvements in certain areas, but we are not where we need to be. We know that, whether it's an element of personnel or instruction, it's something that we look to fairly regularly during the season and then more intensely early in the offseason, when we try to address some of those needs.”

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Defeat can't hide White Sox's talent

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
10:55
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Even in sweeping the Chicago White Sox during a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field, the Baltimore Orioles can see the building blocks of an opposing team on the rise.

The time might not be now for the White Sox, who fell to a season high nine games under .500 (59-68) after a 4-3 defeat to the Orioles. But the runway is almost visible from here.

Avisail Garcia hit a home run in the first inning Wednesday, a day after Jose Abreu hit his own long ball, leaving Orioles manager Buck Showalter to take notice.

[+] EnlargeAvisail Garcia
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastOrioles manager Buck Showalter was impressed with Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia and hinted that the future is bright for the White Sox when healthy.
“[Garcia] is just ... he's ... I'm glad he's somebody else's problem,” Showalter said after his American League East team completed the sweep. “They're going to be a good club to be reckoned with. They're in their process and they've got the pieces there when they get everybody healthy, so you just feel fortunate to catch ’em on a little different side of the season and get out of here.”

The White Sox certainly want to see what their offense would look like when healthy. Garcia played for just eight games in April before he went down with a shoulder injury for four months on the day after he hit his first two home runs of the season.

Wednesday’s homer was just his third of the year.

“Yeah, you know, it's hard because I lost a lot of time and being here, you gotta work hard for that because the pitching here is not easy,” Garcia said. “So you gotta work hard, be focused and swing at good pitches.”

Garcia really could be hitting his stride once Adam Eaton returns, likely next week. Eaton has been out with an oblique injury. Perhaps then the White Sox can finally see an extended run with their new leadoff man and their relatively new power threats in Abreu and Garcia.

Abreu hit third in Wednesday’s lineup while Garcia was in the cleanup spot, presenting a back-to-back challenge that could be as good as any in the league moving forward.

“Yeah, I think we have a lot of talent for the future,” Garcia said. “I think Abreu is amazing. Alexei [Ramirez], [Alejandro] De Aza, [Dayan] Viciedo, me, [Paul] Konerko, we have a lot of future. Let's see what's going to happen; you gotta keep working.”

Well, Konerko might not be part of the future, but he is around for another five-plus weeks to pass the torch to the next generation of White Sox power hitters. Garcia knows he can take it and run with it only if he is healthy, which is why he is now playing it safe in the outfield.

On balls that he otherwise might have made a diving attempt to catch in the series, Garcia stayed on his feet instead. He might be missing out on the chance to make a great catch, but he wants to be around to make up for potential runs lost with his offense. Garcia hurt his shoulder during the second week of the season while trying to make a diving catch in right field.

“As we see him go along, we're going to like what we see,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I think people are going to like what they see. He's a good young player, and it's nice to have him back.”

Progress is coming fast for Garcia now. It might not be coming as fast for the White Sox as a whole, but the positive pieces, like Garcia, are easy to see.

“Yeah, I feel great right now,” Garcia said. “Last night I didn't feel very good, but we've been working hard in the cage. The hitting coach told me a couple things, so I put it in the game. So that's why you see the work today.”

Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 6, White Sox 3

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
9:06
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO – After the Chicago White Sox’s 6-3 defeat Saturday, their series with the Toronto Blue Jays was evened at a game each.

How it happened: After Mark Buehrle and John Danks pitched to a duel over six innings, the Blue Jays scored three times against reliever Matt Lindstrom to take over the game. Buehrle, in his first start at U.S. Cellular Field since he left the White Sox after the 2011 season, gave up three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Danks gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings. Avisail Garcia had two hits and an RBI in his return to action after labrum surgery on his left shoulder in April.

What it means: The most important aspect of Garcia’s return is that he gets 40 games of big league experience down the stretch that he would have lost had he missed the entire season. The White Sox insist they are not rushing Garcia’s return and doctors have cleared every step of his rehab. It also gives the club a month and a half to see how Garcia and Jose Abreu can feed off each other in the same lineup.

Outside the box: With Garcia back, the White Sox are looking at a platoon in left field, with Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza. Viciedo got the start Saturday against the lefty Buehrle, and it could be De Aza’s turn Sunday since the Blue Jays have a right-hander on the mound. It will be interesting to see if White Sox manager Robin Ventura sticks to a strict lefty-righty platoon or if he gives Viciedo some chances against right-handed pitching.

Offbeat: There were plenty of standing ovations for Buehrle, including when he went to the bullpen to warm up, returned to the dugout after warming up, took the field in the first inning and left the game in the sixth inning. Credit the Blue Jays players for letting Buehrle take the field by himself in the first inning. Buehrle raised his arms and waved to the crowd when he left the field in the sixth.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Scott Carroll (4-7, 4.81 ERA) to the mound Sunday in the finale of the three-game series. The Blue Jays will counter with right-hander Drew Hutchinson (8-10, 4.60) in the 1:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 11, Blue Jays 5

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15
10:33
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox opened a three-game series and a six-game homestand with an 11-5 victory Friday over the Toronto Blue Jays.

How it happened: The White Sox unleashed some offense early and often while cruising to the victory. The White Sox sent all nine hitters to the plate in the opening inning, scoring five times and chasing Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. They didn't relent against the Blue Jays' bullpen. The first six batters in the lineup all had at least two hits. Jose Abreu drove in three runs, and Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo drove in two each. White Sox starter Hector Noesi (7-8) gave up five runs and eight hits over five-plus innings but still won for the fourth time in his past five decisions.

What it means: It was nice to be home for a White Sox offense that had its issues on the road. Going back to the final two games of the previous homestand, the White Sox were batting a combined .206 with six home runs and 13 runs scored over their past eight games for an average of 1.6 runs a game. The White Sox were also batting .150 (6-for-40) with runners in scoring position over that time. On Friday, the White Sox were 9-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

Outside the box: The dependable Alexei Ramirez refused to give in to pain as he was hit in the left hand/wrist area by a pitch in the opening inning and remained in the game. He then had hits in two of his next three at-bats. Ramirez has played in 158 games in each of the past three seasons and this year he has played in all but one of the White Sox's 122 games so far.

Off beat: The White Sox delivered six consecutive hits in the fifth inning, their longest such run this season. Their previous best for consecutive hits in an inning was five, done three times. With a five-run first inning and a five-run fifth, the White Sox pounded out 16 hits before the sixth inning even started.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (9-8, 4.96 ERA) to the mound Saturday in the middle game of the three-game series. The Blue Jays will counter with left-hander Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.31) in the 6:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Series preview: Blue Jays at White Sox

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15
10:32
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- While the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays start their three-game series Friday night, all eyes will be on Saturday's matchup at U.S. Cellular Field.

Longtime White Sox staff ace Mark Buehrle will finally mark his return to the mound in his old ballpark when he pitches for the Blue Jays on Saturday night. Pitching for the White Sox will be Buehrle's good friend John Danks.

A no-hitter and a perfect game are among Buehrle's highlights at U.S. Cellular Field, a ballpark he called home for 12 seasons before leaving to the Miami Marlins via free agency before the 2012 season. One year later, he was traded to the Blue Jays.

Buehrle owned the South Side ballpark for his dozen years, pitching in 205 games, 190 of which were starts. He has a career 90-54 record there with a 3.71 ERA. He also pitched 11 complete games in a White Sox home uniform, four of which were shutouts.

While the start to Buehrle's 2014 season was shades of his dominance with the White Sox, his year has taken a drastic turn. After his first 12 starts, Buehrle was 11-1 with a 2.10 ERA and well on his way to a spot on the American League All-Star team. Over his last 12 outings, though, the left-hander has gone 1-7 with a 4.76 ERA.

In four of his last five outings, Buehrle has given up at least four runs, and in his most recent outing, Sunday against the Detroit Tigers, he was only able to last 3 1/3 innings. The Blue Jays and Tigers ended up playing 19 innings that day with the Toronto bullpen hanging on for a 6-5 victory.

Buehrle has faced the White Sox twice in his career, both in Toronto. In April of 2013, Buehrle picked up his first victory as a member of the Blue Jays when he held the White Sox to two runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings.

This past June 29, Buehrle gave up just two runs on six hits over eight innings against the White Sox, but he was outdueled by Jose Quintana, who pitched seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 White Sox victory.

HEAD TO HEAD



Blue Jays rookie starter Marcus Stroman, who stands all of 5-foot-9 and weighs 185 pounds, has faced the White Sox just once, on June 28 at Toronto, and gave up two runs on two hits over 6 2/3 innings of a no-decision, in a game the White Sox won 4-3. ... Three White Sox batters have as many as six at-bats against Buehrle (Tyler Flowers, Leury Garcia, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo), with Ramirez going 3-for-6 with a double. ... Over two seasons and 35 career starts, the Blue Jays' Drew Hutchinson has never faced the White Sox. ... The Blue Jays' Melky Cabrera and Munenori Kawasaki are a combined 4-for-5 against White Sox starter Hector Noesi. ... The Blue Jays' Dioner Navarro is 8-for-20 (.400) against Danks with two doubles and a home run. ... In his only start against the Blue Jays, the White Sox's Scott Carroll have up five runs (three earned) on seven hits over five innings and took the loss on June 26.

NOTES



The White Sox went 2-4 on their six-game West Coast road trip to Seattle and San Francisco and are 57-64 on the season. ... The last time the White Sox and Blue Jays faced off, the White Sox won three games of a four-game series at Toronto. ... The White Sox have allowed 18 runs over their past five games, which is down form the 67 runs they allowed over the first seven games of August. ... Before going 0-for-4 on Wednesday at San Francisco, Alexei Ramirez was batting .341 (28-for-82) with 16 RBIs over his previous 20 games. ... Konerko remains one home run shy of tying Jason Giambi (440) for 41st place on the all-time list. ... Despite not hitting a home run since June 29, Jose Abreu is still tied for the most long balls in baseball at 31 with the Orioles' Nelson Cruz and the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton. ... The Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion, who has been out since July 5 with a strained right quadriceps muscle, is expected to return to action in this series.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (6-8, 4.67 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (7-3, 3.34), 7:10 p.m. CST
Saturday: White Sox LH John Danks (9-8, 4.96) vs. Blue Jays LH Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.31), 6:10 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (4-7, 4.81) vs. Blue Jays RH Drew Hutchison (8-10, 4.60), 1:10 p.m. CST

Series preview: White Sox at Mariners

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
1:10
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
As the dog days of August have arrived, the Chicago White Sox might actually be favoring hotel beds and restaurant meals over all the comforts of home.

A just-completed six-game homestand saw the White Sox's pitching staff implode twice by giving up 16 runs in single games to both the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers. The White Sox won just twice in the six games, managing one victory despite giving up eight runs and another that was called after seven innings because of rain.

The way manager Robin Ventura see it, with how the White Sox performed at home, their level of play can only get better.

"Either way we're going to play better whether it's (home) or on the road," Ventura said after Wednesday's 3-1 defeat to the Rangers. "Put this behind you and start focusing on playing better baseball. You get that hit to fall in, but we need to be able to play a little bit better."

The White Sox are six games under .500 on the road this season at 26-32, but away games have been better of late. The White Sox won two of three games at Detroit in their last road series, having success despite the distraction of the pending trade deadline.

In fact, the White Sox went 5-2 on their seven game tour through Minnesota and Detroit.

The West Coast hasn't always been kind to the White Sox, of course. They were 5-1 at Seattle in 2011 and 3-0 there in 2012, but went 1-2 there last year and are 27-32 all-time at Safeco Field. This season, the White Sox are 3-6 in games west of the Rocky Mountains.

HEAD TO HEAD



The White Sox's Jose Abreu and Dayan Viciedo, both natives of Cuba, each have a home run against Mariners starter Roenis Elias, who also hails from Cuba. ... The nine White Sox hitters who have faced Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma are a combined 6-for-54 (.111) against him with 11 strikeouts. ... Mariners starter James Paxton has never faced the White Sox and has made just seven career major league starts. ... White Sox starter Scott Carroll will make his first appearance against the Mariners. ... The Mariners' Kyle Seager has just one hit against White Sox starter Jose Quintana in seven at-bats, but the hit is a home run. ... Hector Noesi faced his former team, the Mariners, on July 6, going 6 2/3 scoreless innings in an eventual 1-0 White Sox victory. ... New Mariners outfielder Austin Jackson is 18-for-45 (.400) in his career against White Sox starter John Danks, with three home runs and seven RBIs.

NOTES



The White Sox have scored just one run over their last 18 innings, a home run from Viciedo in the seventh inning Wednesday. ... Adam Eaton's availability is questionable Thursday after he crashed into the right-center field fence at full speed Wednesday and had to leave the game. ... White Sox pitchers have allowed 11 home runs over the past four games. ... While the White Sox's bullpen has been struggling, right-hander Jake Petricka has delivered a 1.08 ERA over his last nine appearances. ... The White Sox's Alexei Ramirez is on a nine-game hitting streak, hitting .395 (15-for-38) over that stretch. ... Alejandro De Aza has delivered at least two hits in five of his last six games and is 10-for-20 (.500) over that period. ... The wild-card contending Mariners are just 28-31 at home this season. ... While the White Sox's bullpen is 13th in the American League with a 4.44 ERA, Mariners relievers lead the AL with a 2.36 mark.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Thursday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.36 ERA) vs. Mariners LH Roenis Elias (8-9, 4.19), 9:10 p.m. CST
Friday: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.04) vs. Mariners RH Hisashi Iwakuma (9-6, 2.94), 9:10 p.m. CST
Saturday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (6-8, 4.97) vs. Mariners LH James Paxton (2-0, 2.76), 8:10 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox LH John Danks (9-7, 4.93) vs. TBA, 3:10 p.m. CST

As Sox slide, Eaton won't give up fight

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
5:13
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- As bad as the Chicago White Sox have been of late – a struggle that includes the pitching staff, defense and now offense – they still have somebody willing to pay the ultimate price for success.

Adam Eaton refuses to slow down, even with the White Sox fading fast in the won-loss columns. His 11-game hit streak and 21-game on-base streak might be finished, but his full-speed crash into the right-center field fence Wednesday showed that he still has plenty of fight left in him.

[+] EnlargeAdam Eaton
David Banks/USA TODAY SportsAdam Eaton said his back suffered the brunt of the pain from his full-speed crash into the fence in right-center field.
Not only did Eaton have to leave the game in the second inning against the Texas Rangers, he required X-rays, which came back negative. Despite going face-first into the fence, his biggest issue was with his lower back.

“I’ve been better,” Eaton said. “I’ve never done that before. I’m a little embarrassed. But my back kind of took a beating a little bit there. I’m very happy that it wasn’t my head. I thought that I went into the wall pretty hard.

Eaton sounded as if he wouldn’t be able to play Thursday in Seattle, but he said he would let the four-hour flight to the West Coast determine his fate. From the way he struggled to put on his dress clothes for the plane ride, playing Thursday seems highly unlikely.

Eaton obviously hit the fence running forward in a full sprint, but the impact was so violent that the energy transfer affected his back.

“I think it was the kind of snap, coming back,” Eaton said. “As soon as I hit the wall, that was my initial feeling. I felt a little tension in the back. Not a pop but definitely felt it. It was kind of scary. (Dayan Viciedo) kind of kept trying to pick me up. I told him to leave me alone, I can’t even breathe. Let me catch my breath. It knocked the wind out of me.”

Eaton said he was glad a head injury wasn’t involved and he didn’t have a concussion, but when asked about the homestand he couldn’t think of who the White Sox played before the Ranges were in town. He also couldn’t remember how many games the team won or lost since the homestand started Friday.

For the record, the White Sox went 2-4 during the six-game home games, and the pitching staff gave up 16 runs to the Twins on Sunday and another 16 to the Rangers on Tuesday.

With some rough defeats in mind, manager Robin Ventura was more than appreciative for a player fighting to keep the losses from mounting, although a defeat happened anyway Wednesday. Ventura did not knock Eaton’s effort, which some might have viewed as reckless.

“He’s going after everything; that’s just the way he plays,” Ventura said. “You don’t want to take that away from him. He has done the same thing and made some great catches. That’s part of playing the game. It wasn’t necessarily silly. He thought he had a shot at it and it ended up carrying out of the ballpark. Right there, the way the wind blows, it can ride through that area and just keep sailing. He thought he had a shot at it at first.”

(Read full post)

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.17 208 174
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .317
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208